Time to Move from QuickBooks Desktop to QuickBooks Online (QBO)?

QuickBooks Pro Online Advisor NewmarketI don’t know whether it’s customers getting into the fall routine, and their business mindset from disappointing summer weather, or the marketing Intuit is doing, but I’ve received a lot of inquiries from new and current customers about QuickBooks in the cloud. The question being; is it time to move from QuickBooks desktop to QuickBooks Online (QBO)?

QBO really started to have a presence in Canada about a year ago. It’s been a viable alternative to the desktop version for a number of years in the United States. When it first came out in Canada, I had some real issues with the processing of information and locating or editing it when posted. Payroll wasn’t available at that time either. All of those issues now seem to now be resolved.

If you’re looking to convert from a QuickBooks desktop version you can now upload versions 2012 and newer without losing any payroll information, GST/HST filing history is accurate and the financials from desktop to online are exactly the same. Here are a few more positives that remain the same;

  • You can still print cheques and track expenses
  • Track sales, sales taxes and custom payments
  • Automatically download bank & credit transactions in QBO
  • Manage payroll & payroll taxes
  • Keyboard shortcuts are available

Here are some additional positives when going QBO:

  • Free technical support which is Canadian based
  • Up to 5 people, depending on the version can access the QBO file from anywhere there is an internet connection, at anytime
  • Free access for up to 2 accountants or bookkeepers to work on the books at the same time
  • Automatic updates and upgrades, no action required
  • Apps can sync tasks with your iPhone, iPad and Android
  • Can access online from a PC, Mac, tablet, or smartphone allowing you to be very mobile

There are still some negatives both in the start-up and conversion to QBO;

  • Currently you cannot download your information. This means once you’re in the cloud you’re staying there, unless you start a new desktop version from scratch
  • Multi-currency can still be a problem
  • The number of reports available is greatly reduced
  • When uploading to QBO, it’s all or nothing. You can’t set a before or after date for the data.

QuickBooks, whether desktop or online, is marketed to the small – medium sized businesses. For ease of use for accounting and non-accounting individuals, I still think this is the best accounting software available. Its ease of use and the fact that it’s very forgiving if errors are made, make it great software when doing software training. If you’re considering moving to QuickBooks for your business, then I think QBO could be the right tool for your financial needs.

At Intuit, the sales staff are knowledgeable and will help you determine which version best suits your business. QBO monthly billings are less when compared to the desktop annual fees. The QBO online screens are quite different than the desktop version, along with generating reports. If you decide to go with QBO, I suggest looking for a Certified QBO ProAdvisor to make the transition and training as smooth as possible.

We’re here to help and we welcome your feedback. You can reach us by phone or email, leave a comment right here on the site or click the contact tab at the bottom of the screen if you are reading this post on the website.

Until next time,


[xyz-ihs snippet=”Call”]

0 replies

Leave a Reply

Want to join the discussion?
Feel free to contribute!

Leave a Reply

Your email address will not be published. Required fields are marked *